Autumn is coming to the White Wolf Mine. And it’s elk season, which means that there are people swarming the area in search of a the elusive beasts. It’s antlerless season right now, the bull season is coming. Daytime temps are still in the low 70’s but it’s getting chilly at night.  I saw one of the bobcats yesterday and she (I think that it’s a new she, or a grown up she) was getting her winter coat. Does that mean that it will be a long cold winter? I’ve asked locals and they’re without an opinion on the matter.



Today,  homage to the ubiquitous taco takes the stage here on Virtual Mirage. Does eating tacos constitute cultural appropriation? Some people say yes. I disagree. The next taco question is what to stuff it with. That’s really where the rubber begins to meet the road. Then how hot/spicy should your taco be. I must admit that I like a taco that bites back when I bite it. I’m not talking about insane heat, but don’t put catsup on my taco and expect me to feel good about it.

Street tacos (protein, onions, cilantro and some sort of sauce? Or the fried, bent tortilla, larger, with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes – more of a sandwich taco? Since I like them both, I can’t take sides.

What about a rolled taco (taquito)? The BEST taquitos in my experience are at El Indio in San Diego, CA. I’m sure that Old NFO has had lunch there at some point. The last time that I was in town I stopped at El Indio and picked up beef taquitos with both (cheese, guacamole, lettuce and hot sauce). The place was in plague mode, but I still found seating inside.

I’ve been going to El Indio off and on for years – long before it was featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, and the quality remains the same.

However, is a taquito really a taco? I don’t think so, no matter how delicious.


Hypersonic Cruise

The new missiles from Russia and China commonly touted by experts as game changing are ballistic missiles, not cruise missiles, which are expected to reach Hypersonic speeds as a rule. They play games with numbers and claim they’re cruise missiles when in reality, they reach 30+ km altitudes to hit a target just 500km away… they’re ballistic missiles. For comparison a Tomahawk in US service can hit a target 1,000km away with a flight ceiling of just 50 meters, not 50 kilometers.

Is the speed worth it?

The us built an actual hypersonic capable cruise missile (not just ballistic missiles called cruise missiles)… and decided they weren’t really worth it. However as a test bed, they were well worth the cost because they’re giving birth to a new generation of US missiles.

US Hypersonic Cruise Missile

In testing, the hypersonic missile could sustain higher end hypersonic speeds (mach 9.7) in level flight for about 3 to 4 minutes. True even that long at those speeds meant incredible distances, but they found by slowing it down to just meet hypersonic definition (mach 5) increased range and flight time dramatically. However even then they could only get the system to a range of ~750km air launched while existing missiles could already reach twice that distance surface launched.

There is always a sweet spot where dreams meet reality, and that’s what the US is now looking for.


Now a few Memes

China loves Joe and Hunter and they love China. Come on, man!


  1. I was stationed in SoCal at Camp Pendleton in the early 90’s. Robertitos was THE go to place for chow. The rolled taquitos with guacamole and sour cream and a carne asada burrito? Damn fine eating son!!

    • Addicted indeed. See the comments over at LSP’s about lunch at Los Verdes. It was a Tuesday, but I am a sucker for good chile rellenos, so had that with a chicken enchilada, rice, and beans.

      I couldn’t tell you the last time I was in a Taco Bell, but it was the last time. Seemed like they had cheaped out on their stuff–bigger tortillas with less filling. I do like their taco sauce and we buy it at the store. Never had much tolerance for condiments that bite back, however I seem to be slowly acclimating here in Texas.

      • I too like Taco Bell’s sauce – mild, green, hot. But I’m with you. They cheaped up and I don’t go there anymore. LSP has a number of great Mexican food joints within easy striking distance. MRSLL cooks chili rellenos for me at home. Not bad for a gringa.

        • It’s true, there’s a fair few good places here for Mex food. And now I want to go to Karen’s, which doesn’t sound very Mexican but weirdly is. Hmmm.

          • We have one decent place here for Mexican food, The Inca, several inferior “Hip/Trendy Mexican Cuisine” places, and a couple of places we haven’t tried yet.

            Not real big on Mexican food that “bites back”. I prefer Hunan-Style food for that.

  2. Burgers yesterday, taco’s [appropriately] today…VM is now my go-to menu blog. Gordon Ramsey’s got nuthin’ on you…”Mirage Kitchen”? “Virtual Kitchen”?

    Have not determined how anyone with half a brain thinks the Biden/Harris ticket – both doing less campaigning than HRC (’cause she KNEW the win was in the bag), deserve more than anything above dog catcher? Must be toxic brain-fog brought on by over-wearing of face-diaper “re-breather’s”.


      Would you elect Joe Biden to be the dog catcher in any town in America? First, he’d likely be humping the mutts, but that aside…

      • Those os us on the right side of the good-evil chasm should be serious as a heat attack, this guy is so bad news he’d never get anywhere near a dog, because, dogs know. But I’d rather his followers have some place to put him that doesn’t affect people if they insist on an elected position. That said, if I caught him doing a Toobin on a dog I might just have to let the air out of him.

        • They’ll sedate him in the basement until it’s time to end him. Get him off the meds so that he’ll have a clean tox screen and off him. Kamala will sit behind the Resolute Desk during all that time with handlers telling her what to read from her teleprompter, like a female Barack.

          • He may expire before the election…I have personally seen that look, chemicals can only keep the inevitable at bay for so long. Like Ginsberg, his handlers are hoping he hangs on for two more weeks, but Man plans and God laughs. Won’t matter, Trump will be re-elected.

          • I’m of the opinion that the Democratic Chinese masters will want Biden as President rather than Kamala.
            This laptop of Hunters has (reportedly) videos of Hunter having sex with minors. This would potentially be evidence of Rape and also constitutes creation and possession of child pornography. I believe that both of those crimes carry very serious punishments in China. That makes Hunters well being hostage to President Biden’s actions regarding China. That alone is reason not to vote Biden.
            We might see Kamala removed from the board to safeguard Biden.
            Food for thought.
            …For what it’s worth, I don’t see Hunter ever in a U.S. prison.

  3. There is no real purpose for a ballistic missile other than to deliver a nuclear payload. None.

    And should anybody decide to fire off a nuclear tipped ballistic missile at another country, the aliens will not allow it. We’ve seen them stand down ballistic missile facilities before, and they can do it any time they wish. Nothing we can do about it, either.

    Accordingly, I am not overly concerned about who develops better and gnarlier ballistic missiles: they all will be under alien eyeballs (or whatever the alien equivalent to eyeballs would be), and as long as I keep my chin strap of my tin foil hat buttoned, I have no worries.

    It’s great to be me.

    And to further bolster my credibility with you, LL, I like the original crunchy tacos straight out of Taco Bell, one pack of mild sauce on them. Best taco available on the face of the earth – who could argue with all of this?

        • Read the Taco Bell ingredients.
          * Soy nuggets instead of meat.
          * Soy flour instead of corn flour.
          * Soy in the sauces.
          And soy in the soda pops.

          Is soy responsible for cancers and diabesity?

        • I would wager that China has already figured my theory out. The aliens seem to be uninterested in conventional weapons, however, and hence the enormous investment by the ChiComs in battleships, submarines, artificial islands, things of that nature.

    • Okay, Fredd…
      I was with you…right up until the “Taco Bell” claim.
      I am now forced to question your logic and reasoning on all topics!
      “Best taco available on the face of the earth”…???
      Next, you’ll be claiming that the lizard people HAVEN’T taken over the world governments!

      • OK, I will confess. Taco Bell tacos are tasty, but I may have been exaggerating their world wide appeal. I don’t care what’s in them. Soy this, soy that. They still taste good. I just can’t think of another taco I ever ate that was superior, but then again I don’t get out much.

        I like Twinkies, too. And Cheez-Whiz. And I can’t leave Double Stuff Oreo’s off this list. All good stuff.

        But I will go to my grave ranking Whataburger as the best burger joint that God ever put on the planet. And don’t give me any of this In-N-Out Burger nonsense, I will have none of it…

  4. As one of my son’s friends said to me some years ago, if the taco comes with shredded cheese it’s not Mexican. With that said I like both street tacos and Taco Bell tacos!

    Hypersonic anti-ship missiles. Seems to me you find out if they are a danger the morning you lose several aircraft carriers … or you don’t.

    • I have had cojita cheese on tacos in Mexico but yes, there is the uncomfortable thought that it was just put on there for the gringos.

  5. There’s limited elk opportunities here in Kansas. Only so many permits available. Deer season is coming though and we’re getting a lot of people at the range checking zeros or sighting in their deer rifles. Still getting a fair number of AR newbies as well. We have bobcats here but I seldom see one. The coyotes were putting on a real concert the other night though.
    I had tacos for supper last night. Chicken was the protein and preferred sauce is medium hot.

      • There are a couple small herds notably around Ft. Riley and at the Cimarron National Grassland in the SW part of the state. About 20 permits per year are available.

  6. Tacos might have been Cultural Appropriation once, but we took them as reparations one of the times we conquered Mexico.


  7. I can do fish tacos but I am not a big taco fan. I would much prefer a carne asada burrito with peppers, onions, and cheese.

    • The fish has to be cooked well, Brig. I’ve had them and the fish always seems dry. I didn’t cook the fish, though. They can be cooked too long, and it ruins them.

  8. “Does eating tacos constitute cultural appropriation?”

    I’ve never understood the concept. Must be too old and dense to grasp the nuisances. Isn’t appreciating other cultures as sign of respect? Admiration? Is refusing to eat Haggis and Lutefisk a rejection of my ethnic inheritance?

    Being socially correct in today’s environment is so difficult.

    • I’d think that you’d HAVE to eat Lutefisk if you plan to enter Odin’s corpse hall when you shuffle off this mortal coil.

      As to eating the odd taco, I don’t think that Odin or Thor would hold it against you.

  9. Funny thing about hypersonic, there’s not a lot of time for guidance changes. Now a non-hyper missile going hyper in it’s terminal stage does make sense. But a 100% hypersonic hit-a-moving-target missile? Um… yeah… maybe with a nuke warhead.

    Now, a hypersonic deep penetrator? That’s combining a hella lotta kinetic energy with whatever bang the round is carrying. But if you’re going that far, why not just drop them from space and let gravity do the work for you?

    • There are a lot of classification caveats to anything dealing with the details of hypersonic flight, as there should be. I know that the US has been working on it for a long time and that they will be deployed both by the Air Force and Navy in the near future (including a slot in the rotary launchers on destroyers). My sense is that they boost during cruise, but I don’t know if they impact at speed, or if they maneuver terminally.

  10. Oh yeah! LOVE El Indio! Right off Washington St. Great food, reasonably priced, and they liked military personnel there! Hypersonics have an ‘interesting’ test history, not always covered in glory…so to speak. 🙂

  11. I don’t know if any of The Clan here got an Elk tag this year. I’m sure I would have heard about it. “We” got two tags last year, and they both bagged an Elk, so we’re fixed for Elk burgers and steaks.

    The people who hosted the birthday party on Sunday are avid hunters. They have a Bobcat they bagged some years ago that was turned into a rug. I thought it was a pretty big cat, but he assured me it was medium sized.

    If that one was “medium”, I wouldn’t want to run across a big one! But then everything I’ve read said you’d never know you were being stalked until you met St. Peter…..

  12. I sat out elk so that one of my group could take his son. So far they have bagged 2 and still a couple of days to go!
    I’ll have to be content with going for deer in a couple weeks.

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